Cloud kitchen company Rebel Foods has expanded the scope of its accelerator programme to support established Indian brands and license global brands to set up shop in the country.
The Rebel Launcher programme will offer established Indian brands a platform to scale nationally across 1,000 pin codes, and help global brands launch and expand their presence in India through a licensing model, Jaydeep Barman, CEO and co-founder of Rebel Foods, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
In December, the company signed its first licensing deal with American fast food firm The Wendy’s Company to develop and operate its cloud kitchens in India.
“In our quest to bring awesome restaurants to customers in every corner of India, we figured that we needed an infinite canvas beyond just our own brands. Launcher gives us that canvas,” he wrote.
He said the programme currently has over 15 brands, with some having a presence in over 100 locations.
Launched in 2018, the programme helped food entrepreneurs launch and scale brands using its platform of technology, supply chain, kitchen network and culinary innovation. In May last year, the company broadened the programme beyond restaurant brands with the launch of Rebel Launcher 2.0 to include all brands across the food spectrum.
Founded in 2011 by Barman and Kallol Banerjee, Rebel Foods, formerly known as Faasos Food Services, owns and operates 15 cloud kitchen brands such as Faasos, Ovenstory Pizza, Behrouz Biryani, Lunch Box and The Good Bowl. With 325 cloud kitchens, the company has operations in India, UAE, Indonesia, and the UK.
In its most recent fundraising, Rebel Foods secured nearly $50 million from returning investor, technology focused hedge fund Coatue Management. The company had closed a $125 million growth round from Coatue Management, New York headquartered investment bank Goldman Sachs and Jakarta-based ride hailing major Go-Jek in August last year.
The pandemic has served as the biggest catalyst to the concept of cloud kitchens, which have become the tool of the veterans, professionals and restaurant owners to explore the industry further, pushing them to set up multiple virtual outlets. As per a report by consulting firm RedSeer, up to 50% of the new restaurants that food aggregators onboard on their platforms are cloud kitchens.
Food delivery platform Swiggy also runs two cloud kitchen projects. Swiggy Access, launched in 2017, offers kitchen infrastructure to help brands expand to new hyperlocal areas, while Swiggy BrandWorks, floated in 2020, aims to create new delivery brands using its restaurant partners’ existing dine-in facilities. The company claims that it has co-created nearly 190 brands under the BrandWorks programme, while Swiggy Access is one of the largest cloud kitchens networks in the world.